How “Social Business Design” Has Changed My Outlook on Social Media

The 4 archetypes that guide Dachis Group's social business design are Ecosystem, Hivemind, Dynamic Signal, and Metafilter.

Powered, the social media agency I worked for, was recently acquired by Dachis Group. Through this new venture of his, Razorfish co-founder, Jeffrey Dachis, is trying to validate a concept that has grown a pair of legs over the last few years: Social Business. It’s a relatively new concept to me, having spent all my time working on the consumer engagement side of social media. In a nutshell, however, it’s the process of internalizing social media ideals and applying many of those same consumer-facing archetypes to internal communications, policies, processes, and corporate culture, ultimately leading to a better company that makes better products.

My views and beliefs about social media have been called contrarian and I’ve frequently been labeled a devil’s advocate. But the truth is, I never saw myself falling into social in the first place. I didn’t touch social media, professionally, until my last internship in college, when I was doing blogger outreach for the launch of Dirt Candy. The reason for my skepticism stems from my belief that most social media programs are inherently digital campaigns cleverly dressed in Facebook fan pages and YouTube profiles. I think it’s naive to believe that the majority of the industry doesn’t lump social into digital, and for good reason. We, as marketers, fail to draw significant lines between the two.

Then again, should we be drawing lines at all?

I’ve written about the pervasiveness of social, and how the lines between media are becoming blurred. What I don’t hope for, however, is everything to be powered by Facebook Connect. If the future of social is to be determined by sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, then my skepticism about its future is well-founded, and it will fail to escape digital’s sphere of influence to become a ubiquitous force that knows no departmental bounds.

But I have hope; and it comes from social business design.

My antithetical attitudes towards social are born out of a desperate belief that it’s so much more powerful than what we’re currently doing with it. We talk about how disruptive a force social media is, and how it’s changing the landscape forever, but what are we really doing to drive that grandiose change? Surely it isn’t Twitter races.

I’ve always been a firm believer in the notion that people don’t develop affinities for brands just because they have a fan page, or tweet 3-5 times a day. People ultimately grow closer to brands because of the benefits they render in our lives. I used to be a hardcore Microsoft and Windows user. That is, until the iPhone came out, which led me to a MacBook, which led me to an iMac, and soon enough an iPad (com’on 2nd generation). I got caught in Apple’s famous halo effect; but I’m not ashamed.

I was introduced to many of Apple's other great products following my original iPhone purchase.

That transition didn’t happen because Apple had a YouTube contest or an elaborate fan acquisition strategy. It’s because they create wonderful products. It’s as simple as that. You’ll be hard pressed to find a direct connection between a company’s social media marketing and long-lasting effects on their bottom line. What you will find is a direct connection between the creation of better, more innovative, products and increased sales and demand.

It’s believed that social business design has the power to transform a company into an environment where free-thinking and innovation can thrive, theoretically leading to better ideas and better products. Corporate process change may not sound as sexy, but I believe that what we’re currently doing with social media, as an industry, is only skin deep. We have merely scratched the surface of what I think is possible through the democratization of these tools; at least I hope so. Because if this is it, then I might as well go back to my digital roots.

I don’t think this is it, however. I believe there’s a long road ahead for social; and thankfully it doesn’t lead to marketing more effectively on Facebook. We should aspire to more. We should challenge ourselves to find greater purpose for an idea that can potentially change the way business is conducted forever. We simply have to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and believe that we’re on the cusp of something much larger and much more powerful than what we initially set out to achieve.

16 Comments

  1. Tweets that mention How “Social Business Design” Has Changed My Outlook on Social Media « Rock Me Amadeo -- Topsy.com
    01/30/2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kenny Fabre and Marketing Network, Social Media Mecca. Social Media Mecca said: How “Social Business Design” Has Changed My Outlook on Social …: Powered, the social media agency I worked for… http://bit.ly/gavZUv [...]

  2. links for 2011-01-31 :: Blog :: Headshift
    01/31/2011

    [...] How “Social Business Design” Has Changed My Outlook on Social Media « Rock Me Amadeo (tags: socialbusiness) [...]

  3. Linda Sherman
    01/31/2011

    Thought provoking article (I just stumbled it on stumbleupon).

    I originally “stumbled” on this because of Heather Turner’s paper.li: paper.li/forfeng/follow-friday-favorites which she named “The Hospitality Daily” – which auto “featured” @KauaiBeachInn who RT’d the Twitter announcement of that feature. I was checking their stream because @KauaiBeachInn kindly followed my @KauaiTalk this morning and I have placed them in my Kauai Twitter list and paper.li and so the circle continues. Now that @KauaiBeachInn and I are connected, hopefully they will come to a tweet-up I am hosting in Kauai Saturday http://ourbestofkauai.com/events/kauai-tweetup-at-22-degrees-north-sat-feb-5-noon/ – which may lead to who knows what?

    This is the social of social media – and to me why it is important. Relationships between human beings make things happen. And by the way, some of the customer service twitter accounts make a huge difference for me and my relationship with their company. Comcast, Citibank, ATT are interactions I have had just in the past weeks.

    I worked in Japan for many years and when I returned “social media” was really just starting and while using it for marketing – it also allowed me to re-assimilate to the USA.

    Social Media is about people.
    The social business you talk about, if done right, should allow a company to help form and energize human relationships while synergizing skills. I’d love to see it done in a new merger.

  4. google api tutorial
    05/15/2014

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the
    most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Vicente
    06/01/2014

    That is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Short but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read post!

  6. old school new body system
    06/02/2014

    In fact, it was better because it lacked the unpleasant blackout G
    forces of the latter. When dinosaurs or whatever are erased, plenty of parasite species succeed in adapting to new hosts instead, and life goes on. Not long after that there was a parent’s evening at school, and I never really thought about the DVD until
    the teacher mentioned how much she had excelled in math
    over the past few weeks.

  7. slendera pure garcinia cambogia
    06/03/2014

    Hi there, I discovered your web site by way of Google even as
    searching for a similar subject, your website came up, it seems
    good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, just became aware of your blog thru Google, and located that it is truly informative.
    I am gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you
    happen to continue this in future. A lot of other people will be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

  8. greencoffeemaxcleanse.com
    06/03/2014

    I’ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts
    on this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this
    site. Reading this info So i’m happy to show that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling
    I came upon exactly what I needed. I most no doubt will make certain to do not overlook this
    site and give it a glance regularly.

  9. slim body ketones
    06/04/2014

    I am extremely inspired with your writing skills and also with the format on your weblog.
    Is this a paid subject matter or did you customize it
    your self? Either way stay up the nice high quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a great blog
    like this one today..

  10. ppp papules
    06/09/2014

    I pay a visit day-to-day a few blogs and blogs to read
    articles, however this blog offers feature based writing.

  11. codenames
    06/19/2014

    whoah this weblog is great i like studying your articles.
    Keep up the great work! You already know, lots of individuals are hunting around for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  12. preço turbo force
    06/23/2014

    I like it when folks come together and share opinions. Great blog, keep it up!

  13. gojiactivesdepoimentos.net
    06/26/2014

    I am genuinely delighted to read this webpage posts which
    includes tons of valuable facts, thanks for providing these kinds of data.

  14. slim spray
    06/29/2014

    I am really impressed with your writing abilities as neatly as
    with the structure for your weblog. Is this a paid topic or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the nice high quality writing, it’s rare
    to look a nice weblog like this one nowadays..

  15. safercolontestimonials.com
    07/02/2014

    It’s remarkable to pay a quick visit this web page and reading the views of all colleagues on the
    topic of this piece of writing, while I am also zealous of getting familiarity.

  16. basement walls waterproofing Toronto
    07/18/2014

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and
    effort to put this short article together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

Leave a Reply